Royal ready to upset the odds in Methody clash

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Royal ready to upset the odds in Methody clash thumbnailRSA captain and flanker James Dunne believes a vociferous home support could go a long way to helping the home side cause an upset this Saturday.

ROYAL School Armagh captain James Dunne has issued a rallying cry to the local community as his side look to upset the odds in the quarter-finals of the Ulster Schools' Cup this Saturday morning at 10.30am.

The College Hill outfit face Belfast giants Methodist College and Dunne said that it is going to take a huge effort to topple their illustrious opponents and he is urging local supporters to turn out in force.

“It has been a great run and everyone has really bought in to it and we have enjoyed it but hopefully it isn't over just yet.

“For home games your preparations are the same and you get in to a routine every time.

“Everyone will be a lot happier and more comfortable playing at home and hopefully there will be a big home support there to spur us on.

“Methody will bring a big support themselves and we need to have a big home support there and make plenty of noise and hopefully we can thrive with a big support behind us."

Dunne acknowledged that his side are going to have to step it up another gear if they are to upset the odds and secure a place in the semi-finals.

“Methody are going to be a huge step up from anyone we have played this season and we know that even if we play like we did in the first half against Enniskillen, that we still might lose, but we will give it our best shot and hopefully we can do enough to get something from the game."

Royal School Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker said that the visitors will go in to the tie as favourites, but said that if his side match the work-rate, accuracy and intensity they showed in Enniskillen then it will be a tightly-contested clash.

“Methody have a bucket load of experience in Schools' Cup rugby and hopefully our nerves of playing in the big games are over us.

“We need to show what we can do for 70 minutes not just 35 minutes, but as James said earlier we might come up short even if we do give it our all.

“At Enniskillen the forwards worked really well and got us some really good front foot ball and the backs were very clinical and we will need the same again this Saturday, with a bit extra thrown in as well!

“It will be a massive step up and we know that they are a very physical side.

“They will test us in ways that we haven't been tested before, but it is a really exciting game for everyone to look forward to."

Methody were pushed all the way against a plucky Down High School side in the last sixteen. Armagh haven't played the Pirrie Park outfit in a number of seasons but Parker said that it should lead to an exciting game.

“Methody haven't been on our fixture schedule for a few seasons now, but we played Down High earlier on in the season and we knew that they were very organised and would pose Methody a lot of threats.

“We always expected it to be a tight one and it proved to be that way."

The Royal assistant coach said that he hopes that his side will embrace the occasion and enjoy themselves on Saturday morning.

“We have said to the boys all year to simply go out and play, whether it is in front of a big crowd or one man and his dog.

“We want the boys to go out and enjoy the occasion and not change the way that they play.

“Hopefully we will embrace the big crowd and the support will get behind the boys and give them that wee bit more energy to go on and secure a semi-final place."

Parker concluded by saying that his side won't get too caught up in the strengths and weaknesses that Methody have, but will focus on their own preparations and ensue that the Armagh are 100% prepared and focused for Saturday's clash.

“We sat down last week and did our own homework and watched the Enniskillen game and we put that to bed.

“We will focus on ourselves and see where that takes us and it should leave us in a good place as we move closer to kick off on Saturday."


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